Jain Temples in Indore
The Jain temple, also known as “Derasar” or “Basadi” across India, is a dominating presence in Indore. Indeed, Indore is home to the largest Jain population outside Rajasthan and Gujarat. Jain temples in Indore are not only a place of worship for the local Jain community, but major tourist attractions for their historic specificity, ancient cultural heritage and architectural grandeur.
A variety of architectural styles are used to build these Indore Jain temples, even though the primary features of a Jain temple are same. All Jain temples in Indore have the “Mulnayak” or presiding deity as well the “Gambhara” or Garbha Griha which contains the stone carved idol of the deity. A range of pillars aesthetically carved is another common presence of all Jain temples Find below some of the notable Jain temples in Indore which draw pilgrims and tourists round the year.
Famous Jain Temples in Indore
- Digambar Jain Kanch Mandir- The foremost among Indore tourist attractions is this Jain temple, also known as the “Glass temple” since it is wholly inlaid in glass. It is an architectural marvel with the temple’s pillars, doors, walls and ceilings minutely detailed in glass. The Kanch Mandir was constructed by Sir Seth Hukum Chand starting around 1903. This legendary trader built two architectural wonders, the mansion called “Shish Mahal” and the “Kanch Mandir” in the Itwaria Bazar with white stone.
Tourists viewing the Kanch Mandir will be thoroughly impressed by the interior which is wholly covered by mosaics and glass panels. It is ornamented according to ancient and medieval Jain style, with innovations in the form of use of mirrors and multicoloured glass. Externally, the temple inspires visitors with its canopied balcony as well as a “Shikhara”, or a rising roof over the shrine of the deity.
- Gomatgiri - it is a small, picturesque hillock near Indore. Gomatgiri is reputed as a pious place for Jain devotees. If you come to Indore as a tourist, drive for about 10 minutes from the airport and you will reach this place. A huge statue of Gomateshwar reaching 21 feet is built here. It resembles the Bahubali statue of Shrawanbegola.
Gomatgiri is also famous for its 24 marble temples dedicated to all the 24 Tirthankars of Jainism. The Jain Samaj had received the hillock from the Madhya Pradesh government in 1981. All visitors would be heartened to know that there is a dharamshala, a guest house and a restaurant in the vicinity to make this visit a comfortable one.
- Pushpagiri Jain Temple- Located in Songach village, this Jain temple is placed about 5km from the Indore-Bhopal highway. It is dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Lord Mahavir. It is the inspiration of Acharya Tarun Sagarji Maharaj. Tourists would be mesmerized not only by the lush greenery and peaceful ambiance but also by the gigantic 108 feet idol of Bhagwan Paraswanath in Padmasan posture. This makes it one of the largest Jain statues structurally surpassing the Bahubali idol of Shrawanbegola (Karnataka).
There are three Jain temples in Pushpagiri “Tirthkshetra” or pilgrimage site. For visitors to the place, there is a nearby restaurant and a dispensary in the vicinity. The 250 acres site also houses a public school for children, a hospital, shopping centre and a museum exhibiting ancient Jain artefacts.
- Sidhwarkut Jain Temples in Omkareshwar- They are one of the foremost pilgrim spots among the 24 tirthankars for the Jain community.
There are a number of sacred ancient and new Jain temples here. Some of the ancient images date back to 1488 A.D. Most of these images are of the Jain tirthankar, Shantinath Ji, engraved with a deer symbol.
Other Jain Temples in Indore you must visit:
- Shri Aadiinath Digambar Jain Chaityalay
Address: 132-133 Samvidanagar
- Shri Shantinath Digambar Jain Mandir
- Shri Parshvanath Digambar Jain Chaityalay
Address: 5, Asha Bhawan
- Shri Digambar Jain Shravikashram Samvisharan Mandir
Address: 17/1 South Tukoganj
- Nakoda Jain Temple
Address: Gumasta Nagar
Scheme No 71
There are Jain temples in Indore belonging to both their sects, the Digambaras and Svetambaras. Both these sects have built beautiful temples which are places of meditation and spiritual enlightenment. Some are so expansive that they can be labelled “temple cities” as Gomatgiri, and Pushpagiri, for instance. Do not leave the city without visiting the Indore Jain temples as outstanding examples of architectural style, cleanliness, devotional ambiance and the sheer beauty of a work of art.
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